At first glance There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Louis Sachar doesn’t look like the kind of book you would read aloud to your class. It comes across (at least to me) as more silly than anything else. Although there is certainly humor in the book, There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom is so much more, and it is one of my very favorite read alouds for grades 2-4.
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The story is focused around Bradley Chalkers, a boy no one likes, not even the teachers, and it isn’t hard to see why. Describing him as unpleasant is an understatement. Further, he is a failure in school, not even attempting to complete his assignments. His teacher has pretty much given up. Fortunately, a young counselor at his school is not going to give up on him. With her subtle guidance, Bradley slowly changes his life. It isn’t easy, but by the end of the book, he is not only starting to succeed in school (I totally tear up whenever I get to the part when he gets his first gold star) but is also making friends. Getting invited to his first birthday party since he was a little kid is a monumental achievement.
What I love about this book is that Bradley’s transition is believable. Further, because much of the story is from his POV, we as the readers develop empathy, and we are truly on his side as he starts to change for the better. This would be a great book to start the year off with or to read if you have a class that is having trouble getting along.
Have you read this book? What do you think? Do you have a different favorite read aloud?
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